Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Expect (07/11/13)
TITLE: Creepy Cockroaches of Doubt
By Yvonne Blake
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It’s so stuffy in here. I wonder if it would be safe to open a window. How many people are here tonight? It’s hard to see in the light of the few flickering candles. More keep arriving each day.
I have to get a drink. I can hardly breathe.
I tiptoe around men kneeling, children sleeping, a mother soothing her whimpering baby. An old man is slumped against the wall, his mouth wide open and snoring. He’s been here for three days.
There is a constant mumble of low voices. “Jehovah, You are the Mighty Deliverer,” “Save us, O Almighty God,” “Hear us, we pray.”
The king has killed James already, and now he has threatened to execute Peter on the morrow. Who knows how many will be next? Tension and fear grow everyday.
I sip from the dipper near the entrance of house and lean against the wall. Doubts crawl through my mind like creepy cockroaches. What good is prayer? Do you actually expect God to save Peter? God didn’t save James. How can prayer save you? It’s not worth your life to follow Jesus. Why not go back to your old life and be safe?
I shake my head to clear the depressing thoughts. It is worth the persecution and prison to follow Jesus. He is the Way. There is no other path to eternal life.
I was only a child, but I remember Jesus. He put His hand on my head, and I knew that He loved me. Jesus cared about my sadness and pain. I cannot turn away from Him now.
Just as I start to return to the prayer meeting, I hear a thumping on the outer gate. Who would come at this hour of the night? Have the soldiers learned where we are? I swallow and put my hand on my chest to calm my beating heart. “Who is it?”
“It is I, Peter. Let me in.”
Peter? It can’t be! He’s in jail.
I run back to the inner room. “Peter’s at the door!” The low voices stop and they look at me with perplexed expressions. I repeat myself, “Peter is outside!”
“He can’t be. You must be dream walking, Child. Sit down and rest.”
“No, he’s at the door!”
I pull away from the hands that urge me to rest, to forget the voice on the other side of the door. Hurrying to the entrance, I unbolt the locks. The cool night air soothes my cheeks.
A man stands alone on the street, looking back over his shoulder. He turns, and in the moonlight, I see the bruise on his cheek. It is Peter. God does answer prayer. My doubts scurry away.
* Acts 12
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